2012-01-04

Oliver-Berry Reading

READER 1: "The Peace of Wild Things," by Wendell Berry.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

READER 2: "Wild Geese," by Mary Oliver.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

[READER 1: left justified plain text. READER 2: right justified italics. BOTH: Centered ALL-CAPS]

The Peace of 
WILD 
Geese
Things
BY
Mary Oliver.
Wendell Berry.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about

When 
DESPAIR 
for the world grows in me
yours,
AND I 
will tell you mine.
awake in the night at the least sound 
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I
Meanwhile the world
GO(es) 
on
and lie down
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water 
and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of
Meanwhile the
WILD 
geese
things, who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water and
high in the clean blue air,
I feel above me the day-blind stars
are heading home again.
waiting with their light. For a time I rest
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
in the grace of 
THE WORLD 
offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese,
harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

and am free.